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January 2016 Accessibility Requirements Need Attention Now

November 12, 2015
Adam Gorley

If your organization operates in Ontario, you know about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and its five broad standards, but are you ready for the new requirements in effect January 1?

In less than eight weeks, small and large organizations in Ontario will face a new set of legal obligations under the AODA’s Employment Standard and Information and Communications Standard.

On January 1, 2016, organizations with 50+ employees must be ready to:

  • Communicate and provide information in accessible formats and with supports, upon request, in a timely manner and at a cost equal to the regular cost charged to others, including emergency and public safety information
  • Provide accessible workplace information to employees with disabilities, as necessary or upon request, including information about emergency workplace procedures
  • Ensure your human resources practices explicitly consider accessibility issues in workplace recruitment, accommodation, performance management, training, career development and return-to-work processes
  • The latter requirement includes developing individualized written accommodation plans for employees with disabilities

Organizations with 1 to 49 employees must be ready to:

  • Ensure all employees have received training relevant to their jobs on the duty to accommodate persons with disabilities under the Human Rights Code and AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards (information, communications, employment, transportation and the design of public spaces)
  • Provide upon request accessible formats and communication supports in all feedback processes
  • Notify the public about the availability of these accessible feedback processes

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